Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dissertation Project: Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of Direct Cardiac Reprogramming
My primary research interests are in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
To gain a solid foundation in developmental biology, I studied the role of nckap1 in neural tube development in the Bob Goldstein Lab while completing a BA in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I joined BBSP in Fall 2012 and completed my first rotation with Scott Magness, where I worked with a novel biocompatible micro-fabricated scaffold for intestinal tissue engineering. I spent my second rotation with Joan Taylor investigating the Rho GTPase activating protein GRAF3 and its role in hypertension. Finally I rotated with and joined the lab of Li Qian.
The Qian Lab , is primarily interested in cell reprogramming, with an emphasis on direct cardiac reprogramming. The adult heart has little to no ability to regenerate after injury. Because heart disease is the number one killer worldwide, identifying novel approaches to repair or replace injured cardiac tissue is crucial. Cardiac fibroblasts, which comprise more than 50% of the cells in the heart, can be directly reprogrammed into functional, cardiomyocyte-like cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac reprogramming are unknown and must be identified before this approach is a viable therapeutic option for patients.
Through my research, I seek to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive cardiac reprogramming, as well as optimize reprogramming efficiency.
To learn more, visit Kim’s website.